Hope-Chest type holiday collections for teen daughters

bizzybeeDecember 15, 2001

I'm tired of trying to buy holiday gifts for my teen daughters who have their own definite tastes in clothing, jewelry, etc.. Am wondering about buying hope chest type items that I could add to each year at various holiday times. Christmas I was thinking of place settings of Christmas china, but don't know for sure and am open to suggestions. Anyone else do this? Anyone have some ideas of nice collections to be starting that would be usable in their homes in the future?

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I think that is a great idea! So often when a young person starts out, there are far more important things to buy when starting out in a first home/apartment. It's nice to be able to have things to use over the holidays and treasure for a lifetime.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 12:42PM
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What a wonderful idea! Wish you'd posted idea sooner as I have a 15 yr granddaughter and never thought about "hope chest" stuff. :) I remember getting hand stitched (embroidery &/or crochet) bed & table linens, everyday place settings, & serving pieces. I thought it was great!
My only suggestion would be to make sure that the dinnerware & "silverware" patterns you chose are "open" stock and available for years to come.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 4:50PM
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My sister has done that for two of her granddaughters for several years and now one just got married and one is engaged so they have a lot to start out with. She bought them a lot of Princess House Crystal and some other things also.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 7:49PM
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What an awsome idea.
Even things like simple blankets,regular glasses,mugs.
General stuff would be a really great idea. How old are these girls?
Don't want to give them any ideas about moving out to early then again might be the push they need LOL if you want them out.
Good luck and thanks for a great idea I hope to remember as my dd is only 12 but eventually maybe the first year just the chest would be good.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 7:49PM
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Thanks for the input. Daughters are 18 and 20, so I definitely don't think I'm too early...actually am probably thinking of this a little late! Lynn, I think your daughter would enjoy a cedar chest/hope chest for her room anytime now! It seems that my daughters started collecting things of meaning to them at about that time and it would be a wonderful storage item at any time. At this point I'm thinking about some sort of holiday china, but am really puzzled about the variety and how to know which patterns will be available 3, 5, or 10 years from now. I guess I'll go shopping and ask. What other things would you expect to put in a "modern girl's" hope chest? I remember lots of doilies and runners and embroidered tea towels from an earlier age, but I'm sure that they are not in style now. Need some good ideas for things that might be not just utilitarian (pots and pans, etc.) but would be sentimental or something a bit special. Ideas, anyone????

    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 9:07PM
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I think I would stick to a classic white china...then they can add a few holiday pieces and can change with holiday. My children are still kinda young....but every year I make the something special to use to decorate their own homes for the holidays....then when they get on their own....they can take a piece of their memories with them.....Tammy

    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 11:49PM
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I think you have a wonderful idea!

When my best friend and I were young teenagers we started exchanging with each other Royal Albert "Pointsettia" china. At Christmas we would try to buy each other a different piece every time.

I am 45 years old now and we stopped exchanging the china when we were in our late 20's but occasionaly I will buy her a new piece. I have enough cups, saucers, bread plates, cream and sugar, large dinner plates, relish tray, candy dish, salad plates, a bowl or 2 for a nice holiday breakfast setting. My friend got the tea pot from her mother and that is my next purchase.

I recently went to an antique shop and they had a bread plate and a cup on sale as a set for $10.00 CAD. I snapped it up right away because my mom had broken one of my cups so now I have a replacement plus a new plate which at china shop would have cost me over $40.00.

Happy Holidays


    Bookmark   December 16, 2001 at 5:02AM
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This is a great idea. Besides the china/crystal, there's also flatware. Mom gave me a beautiful set a few years ago that would go with any Christmas china. Also, there's candle holders. How about holiday towel sets (kitchen and bath). And of course special ornaments. When DD got married a few years ago I started making a special ornament for each year for each of the grandchildren. That way when they're old enough to start their own home they'll have some special ornaments.

Lynn 98, I'm sure your DD would love a cedar chest in a year or two. I got mine for Christmas the year I turned 16. That's the only year I can specifically remember what I got. And DD got her's when she was 14 - given to her by DH's aunt that her husband wanted our DD to have when he passed. It's very special to her. It's moved with her all over the country -- from Mississippi to Alabama to Maryland back to Mississippi to Oregon back to Mississippi back to Oregon and now in Alaska!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2001 at 8:52PM
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My oldest daughter always enjoyed drinking tea so for Christmas when she was 13, her grandmother gave her a beautiful cup and saucer she had found at a flea market. Every year at Christmas, she gave her another one of a different pattern (each one was beautiful). For high school graduation, a teapot and silver sugar cube tongs. When she graduated from college, her dad and I gave her a cabinet that had been made from an antique floor radio to hold all her tea things. She's now 33 and her favorite way of entertaining friends is to invite them over for tea.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2001 at 1:09PM
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What a wonderful idea!! I like the kitchen and bath holiday towels. You can get them for all seasons. Table cloths, soap dispensers, tea sets, candle holders, place mats, glasses, napkins, wall hangings, bed sheets and pillowcases, the list is endless. YOu can buy all this for almost any holiday. I think I'll start something like this for my dd and she is only 5!!!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2001 at 1:31PM
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For anyone who's interested, here's an update. I went shopping last night for Christmas china and was told that there is absolutely no assurance that any of it will be around from one year to the next (guess I'm naive about china!) Anyway, decided that's not the route to go in case I get something like 3 place settings and it is discontinued (with no warning). Another idea has come to me recently about the Fontanini (sp?) nativity sets. They come with the basic nativity and then you can add from a huge multitude of various villagers, etc. ...just in case someone else out there is thinking of a Christmas collection of some sort. Happy Holidays!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2001 at 5:48PM
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Just had a thought! Since no assurance that any of the Holiday china would be available for one year to next, how about just getting one place setting each year..so when done would have X number of different place settings.
Guess I'm just strange!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2001 at 3:18PM
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If you're strange TxGal2 then I am too as I had the same thought. I certainly wouldn't care if they were all the same as long as they were holiday.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2001 at 5:03PM
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Thanks for the thought about the china. I wouldn't mind mix and match china either, but would probably need to start out with that in mind rather than starting with ONE pattern and getting maybe three place settings and then going with the mix and match theme. Perhaps (along with your mix and match idea) I will start to watch antique stores for holiday plates, cups and saucers, etc. Will probably save these ideas to work on for NEXT year...funny how quickly I get an idea and then get sidetracked on to something else!!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2001 at 5:28PM
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Excellent idea! I would have loved this as a teenager. I would think that if you chose one of the "popular" companies like Spode or Pfalzgraff your chances would be better to eventually have a complete set. Spode has had the same pattern for over 20 years. I would suggest that, even if the plan is for a mixed set of place settings, to go with 2 settings per pattern (you could always buy two and save one for the next year) or buy an entire set on sale now and dole it out over the next few Christmas's.

I was feeling sorry for myself, having only sons, then realized someday I'll have a daughters-in-laws and our neices and nephews will eventually have bridal showers... I have decided to shop every clearance sale and if it's 75% off (THAT will keep me from getting carried away!) I'm buying it and hiding it (from my husband, of course--he would think this is a ridiculous idea) in the attic! ;-)

TO THOSE OF YOU WITH SONS: Shop the tool sales and make them a "tool hope chest".... definitely not as much fun as holiday towels! I started this for our boys a few years ago, then realized they weren't going to "save" them hope-chest style... who knows where they are now so that's another thing to add to the collection of loot I'll hide in the attic!


    Bookmark   December 30, 2001 at 5:05AM
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Hey I love this idea I am only 12 and me and my mother discussed the idea of me starting a hope chest. I am very interested because it will certainly help me when I move out into an apartment/house. This is just a fantastic thing, I am trying to learn the history on how this all started. Well I also love that you keep the chest and then you can pass it down to your own children. It would make me feel good to know that if my mother ever passed away,I would have something of hers and I could pass it down to my child.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 5:51PM
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This is a great idea. Have you thought about simple kitchen items such as a good measuring cup/spoons, other utensils, electric can opener, spatulas, nice paring knife, good cutlery or knife set, etc. My Mom put together a couple boxes of stuff like that when my oldest Sis got married way back when and my Sis just loved all of it. One thing I really enjoy having in my kitchen is a filet knife. It was purchased for fish of course but then I just started using it for a lot more things and I really love it.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 10:30PM
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Hi Jennifer, A hope chest is a great idea. Good that you are interested in one at age 12, you have several years to collect lots of practical and pretty things for your first place of your own. I actually had one and my Aunts and Sisters even gave me things like pretty embroidered pillowcases and tablecloths, some glassware, dishtowels, and some kitchen items. Always fun to look through the items you collect and "dream" about how you will use them all someday. If you start one, be sure to let your family and neighbors know about it--you might be pleasantly surprised at how many will have items they no longer use that they would love to pass on to you. Luvs

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 10:51AM
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Jennifer, you are wise beyond your years!! I started a hope chest when I was quite young. I am still enjoying items that were in it...and I'm OLD as dirt!!!! My Grandmothers, aunts and my Mom made linens and contributed other goodies that I use regularly. My Dad was a master woodworker and made lots of little items that are real treasures to me now that he is gone.
Blessings to you for making me realize that the younger generation is JUST GREAT!!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 11:27AM
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Not sure if this is too late, but maybe give new mothers or grandmothers an idea. I work at a retail store and a customer came in looking for a large wooden box. Her daughter was pregnant with her third child and the grandmother wanted a box big enough to hold 18 Christmas ornaments - one for each year until the child turned 18. Then she gives them the whole box. I thought this was such a cool thing to do, and so special! Her grandmother had done it for her, and she intends to do it for each of her grandchildren. What a lovely tradition! And it can be for a boy or a girl.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 1:04AM
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I gave my daughter a shower gift that consisted of something special for each of the holidays during the year. I wrapped each gift in paper suitable for the holiday-place mats; candles; a ceramic bunny for easter; star shaped dishes for the fourth and memorial day; irish coffee mugs for st. patricks day etc etc. It was so much fun purchasing things (some were a treasure hunt since the holidays were past by the time I started shopping). I even included a beautiful pine cone wreath that would cover the entire fall season. It was great fun and everyone including my daughter loved it. Satine

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 2:38PM
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Those are all great ideas. I will have to keep these in mind for my GD. Hope both of you will keep coming here to chat and share ideas and pics. Luvs

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 9:25PM
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I had a hope chest when I was a teen. I now have four grandchildren and I too, either make, paint, or purchase ornaments for them each year. They love getting the ornaments and putting them on the tree and just knowing that the ornaments belong to them forever. Their parents know that when they move off to their own home, they get to take those ornaments with them. I write their names and the date on the bottom or back of each ornament. I like to think they will remember me each year when they put up their tree.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 11:28PM
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Jennifer, It's so nice to hear that young girls still love hope chests. I had one when I was young also and still have the "chest" which is actually an 18 wheeler truck toy box that my grandfather made.

Everyone has wonderful ideas also for items to include in a hope chest.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 11:37PM
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Hi PF, I am quite sure each of your grandchildren will treasure their ornaments. Not only for the beauty of each one, but because their very talented Grandmother painted them especially for them. ;o)

Sandi, how great that you still have the "chest" your Grandfather made.

Mine was just a box that slid under my bed, but I can remember how I loved to pull it out and look at the items and think about how someday I would have a home of my own to use them in. I'm glad to hear young girls like Jennifer still want to start one too.



    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 11:08AM
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I think this is a wonderful idea! It's hard to believe i will be eighteen in just 10 short days! I wish that my grandma or mom had started something like this for me!

Since i will be moving out soon, it would certainly be helpful to already have many of the things you would find in a hope chest. Unfortunately i don't so i have been stocking everything you can possibly think of for an apartment! So that i dont have to go out and drop several hundred dollars when i realize i dont have something i need, right after i have just paid several months rent to move in!

I look for things on sale at places like walmart kmart and target, even kohls, and if it's a good deal, I snatch it up! i have already collected things such as an iron and ironing board, vaccuum cleaner, bathroom coordinates, drinking glasses, decorations for every holiday, a toaster, cutting boards, kitchen utensils, and several other things! All of these would be great ideas for hope chests!

Although i would reccomend waiting until your daughter is a little older, maybe 13 or so, so that the things you buy her don't go out of date to bad, of course timeless items can be purchased at anytime, like holiday decorations.

Also keep in mind not only what is practicle and what you like, but also what your daughter will like. Remember the way you imagine her first home, probably isn't the way that she will see it!

But in closing, i'm sure any girl would be more than happy to have a hope chest to dream about, and in the long run they will truly appreciate the sentimental value, as well as the fact that it has saved them a whole load of money!

Good luck and happy shopping!


    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 11:27PM
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My mother started my daughter on the Lenox Christmas Holiday set when she was in the 2nd grade. She got the dinner plates and bread and butter plates and cups and saucers. Then she gave her clear red salad plates (sort of like Fosteria red), as she thought having all three pieces of patterned china was "too much." Plus, she felt that my daughter could use the clear red set on Valentine's as well. Later, she got red goblets. It makes for a very classy table.
Brides like to pick out their china, but they hardly ever pick a Christmas pattern. I'd go for the china first and pick a long-standing pattern. Happy hope chesting!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 8:01PM
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I have done this with my daughters and had alot of fun with it. I collected ornaments, household decorations(like wreaths for the seasons), picture frames, and even bought them odd items like afgans, candle holders, advent calendars(like their grandmother had for us). But one of their favorite gifts was a collection of family recipes! I put them into a book and filled it with household "tips"....like cleaning shortcuts, substitutions, and even handyman tips for taking care of a home. On the internet now there are even checklists for home or apt upkeep if they are independent and want to tackle it.
Just "shop" around and see what catches your eye for each daughter. I didn't buy them both the same items either. One loves blues and is into more modern stuff.....and the other is into bright oranges, yellows and greens.....and just more bold in her choices. Yet, I tried not to tie them into any one color scheme, but used silver(both of their favorites) as something to keep it all put together.
I think that planning ahead is a great idea and "teaches" them to think ahead, of their future, not just the here and now!!!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 11:14PM
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We had hope chests growing up---3 girls and a boy! We ALL learned how to cook, embroidered our kitchen towels (though I was a tomboy and mine didn't last to college ;) At some point, a tool kit ended up in mine. I think this is a GREAT modern addition to any modern hope chest (for girls or boys) along with a homemade recipe book with family favorites! Amazon has REALLY cute all pink tool kits, by the way!

My sisters are both pregnant now, one girl and one boy; I think I'm going to start collecting things for them to give when they're 13! Also: if you have carvers in the family, my dad carved designs in our chests, and they're beautiful!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 1:15PM
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I love my hope chest and I'm only 18! When I started mine it was because we were cleaning out my grandma's attic and there were quite a few sets of dishes as she didn't have much when she was a girl (she lived on a farm) so she always kept any dishes that came her way in case someone needed something. But I found a set of 3 pretty blue dishes that you can still get replacements for online (yay! I want at least 4), but my mom suggested that I keep them in the toy box my dad made for me when I was a little girl (5 I think?) but I've put in things I've done, a quilt, some embroidered pillowcases and a family tree that's almost finished. But I was also given 2 quilts, one from my great grandma who gave it to my aunt, and one that my grandma made as a girl. They're both so pretty that I don't know if I want to use them. Maybe they'll go on a guest bed so they won't be ruined.

But as for china, I received a set from my grandma, as did my brother who didn't care which of the 2 sets he got, actually he was all for me getting both sets, but my insisted. I believe he got her wedding china and I got her mother's set, but it could be the other way around. Either way I'm looking forward to using all these things one day in my own house. The chest will definitely be going with me when I move out! Now just to tell my family that I have one so they can add things if they want! Especially my two aunts who had only boys because they like doing girly things with me!

Good luck to any who are making one, especially Jennifer! I hope you're having fun storing things in yours! I know mine provides me hope for the future when everything else seems so confusing!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 5:58PM
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